Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Tribute to a TRULY Wonderful Man!

Joseph A. Rider
a.k.a: “Max”, "Pop-pop"
and my personal favorite “Pops”
May 11, 1915 – July 9, 2009

94 years of a life well-lived

My grandfather passed away in peace on Thursday at a hospice center in Reading, MA. I have lived within ten minutes of him for the past four and a half years in Boston and he was a special part of my life there. Whether it was my weekly visits, or the “special errands” he would send me on because “only I would know how to do it!” (like buying cards for family members), or our dinners at the “99” and the Cheesecake Factory, or the lectures on life, marriage, jobs, or what a good meal consists of (!!)… without a doubt, many of my fond memories of Boston include my grandfather! He was an example to me of a man of faith, hard work, and someone who truly loved his children and grandchildren unconditionally.

I wanted to post some of the pictures from the past few years...

93rd Birthday dinner at the Chart House in Boston
Blowing out the candles at the Chart House!

I also had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my grandfather as a child. When I moved to Pennsylvania, my grandparents moved less than a mile away. My grandmother passed away within a year of our move and for a while my grandfather lived in our home. My brothers and I spent many hours at his house helping with his yard and the general upkeep of his home. He was our babysitter and he loved attending our special events and graduations, etc. I fondly remember the number of New Years Eve’s spent with him ringing in the new year with Ellio's Pizza ☺ He and I had a special bond over our love for blue cheese dressing on our salads and he always made sure he had some for me when we would go over for dinner.

He always listened patiently and tried to understand what my brother’s and I were up to in an ever-changing world of technology and education/career pursuits... although I am sure we consistently confused him by talking about the "internet" or "texting"

This is a picture of a holiday dinner we had in Dec 2008.
I stopped by to visit him on his 94th birthday and had to get a picture! His eye-sight had gone by this point so he wasn't sure where the camera was, but he was all smiles!
4th of July, 2009

We were very fortunate to have planned a family reunion for the 4th of July weekend. My grandfather had just moved into a hospice center that day and we all gathered to take one last picture. He had not been very coherent during the past month, but the two days we spent with him were two of the three days in the past month that he was able to hold a good conversation. We were so blessed to have had that special time with him just a few days before he passed away.

He was a man of strong opinions and he had a very strong will that was evident until the day he passed away.

I'll never forget you pop-pop. I love you!


Sarah said...

I have a really special place in my heart for grandpas. I think because I really miss mine (he passed away 11 years ago). I think of him a lot and think "Bopi would have loved to do ___" Then I just think about how happy he is that his posterity is happy. That must be an incredible feeling to know that you've created wonderful people...and since you're a part of his family tree (and you family must be pretty cool too), I know he must be happy. I am sorry for you loss, Cara. He sounds like an amazing man.

Jill said...

I am sorry for your loss. He sounds like such an amazing man. It is so awesome that you were able to spend so much time with him.

HaH said...

Cara - R.I.P for your Pop-Pop. I've spent some fun holiday dinners with your family and your grandfather has certainly been a treasure. I'm so glad that you have been able to live up in Boston these past few years, to spend the last years with him.